Using two light switches to control a single outlet location



Assuming power enters at the switch box. You'll have to run a 3-wire with ground cable between the switch box, and the receptacle. You'll also have to break the little bonding tab, on the "hot" side of the receptacle.

At the switch box:

Connect the feeder white wire, to the white wire going to the receptacle. Using pigtails, connect the feeder black wire, to a terminal on each switch. Using pigtails, connect the feeder ground to the receptacle ground wire, and each switch. Connect the black wire that goes to the receptacle, to one of the switches. Connect the red wire that goes to the receptacle, to the other switch.

At the receptacle.

Connect the white wire to one of the silver colored terminals on the receptacle. Connect the ground wire to the green terminal on the receptacle, and the box if it's metal. Connect the black wire to one brass colored terminal on the receptacle. Break the tab between the brass terminals. Connect the red wire to the other...
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Answer for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz supply service.

A two wire cable must be brought to the switch box from the distribution panel source. This "hot" wire is connected to the top of the switch. Whatever you do, do NOT switch the neutrals. Connect the ground wire to the back of the box. This ground wire is connected to every box in the circuit installation. Run a two wire to the first lighting outlet. At the switch box connect the white wires together and the outgoing black to the bottom of the switch. At the first lighting outlet leave about 6 inches of wire hanging out of the box. From this box run another two wire cable to the second lighting outlet box. Remember to connect the ground wires. Back to the first lighting outlet box connect a short piece of wire to both the incoming and outgoing wires, this is known as a "pigtail connection" and it is this short piece of wire that connects to the fixture. Do this with both the black and white wires. These connections...

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The hub is the middleman

You probably already know this, but just for clarity: the smart switch communicates directly to the hub. The hub then sends the messages to whatever devices you wanted to control.

So you can have an on/off zwave smart switch in the upstairs bedroom control zwave lights in the downstairs laundry room, or zigbee lightbulbs, or a WeMo pocket socket in the hallway, or all of the above as a single group because all the bedroom switch has to do is talk to the hub, and then whatever smart app/routine code you are using will handle getting the messages to all the other devices.

Since all of this is done wirelessly, The physical location of any of the devices, and the communication protocol they use with the hub, don't matter. This is one of the most powerful features of SmartThings' multiprotocol design.

So first set up the lights to talk to the hub

For that reason, as others have mentioned, all you need to do is decide whether...

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This is most often done to allow for floor or table lighting to be plugged into that outlet and then controlled by the wall switch. As with any electrical wiring project it is sometimes best to have a qualified electrician do the work, but with proper precautions it is not a difficult project and will enhance a room greatly.

Step 1

Choose where you want the switch box and outlet to be located. Make sure there is no power to that wire if attaching to an already hot wire. If not already wired, complete the entire switch to outlet wiring before connecting to the circuit box.

Step 2

Attach a plastic outlet box to one side of a wall stud with standard framing nails at a height approximately 1 foot from the base flooring. Make sure it is secure. Attach a switch box in the same fashion approximately 4 feet from the base floor.

Step 3

Drill a 3/4 to 1-inch hole in the 2-by-4 stud just above the switch box. Go back to the outlet box and drill a...

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There are two types of switch controlled outlet, one is where the switch is mounted on the wall in a position where light switches are (or might be expected to be) mounted. This is the type of outlet mentioned in the answers of Andrew Daviel and David Whelan. In America such outlets look just like any other, but are used for table lamps and standard lamps with each outlet usually being controlled by a separate switch. In the UK, where dedicated 6A lighting circuits are the norm, such arrangements are much less common, but they do exist. However they are normally 2A or 5A outlets connected to the dedicated lighting circuits (rather than the standard UK 13A outlet). The 2A socket-outlet (a smaller version of the 5A type) looks like this:

The other type of switch controlled outlet is the type common in the UK where most(not all) 13A outlets have a switch for each socket mounted on the faceplate of the outlet thus:

The purpose of these switches is convenience, to be able...

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Last week I described how an outlet should be wired for switch control when the voltage enters the circuit at the outlet. This setup is how our master bedroom was wired before I installed an overhead ceiling fan. As promised, I detail below how to modify this wiring setup with minimal effort so that the switch can instead control an overhead fixture. Later this week, I’ll post some before and after pics from our ceiling fan installation. Before we get started, let’s briefly review last week’s diagram:

Review of Switched Outlet Wiring (Power Enters at the Outlet)

In this diagram, voltage enters the circuit at location (A) in a standard 2-wire (+ground) Romex. The white neutral wire from this Romex is connected directly to the silver terminals on the receptacle (E), and the black hot wire is connected to the white wire running to the switch (B). The white and black wires from this Romex are connected to the switch (C). The black wire at the switch is now...

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Definitely. In the event the light fixture was also wired for a fan, as mentioned above, you certainly can install a fan with no difficulty. You could also install new switches that will control light level and fan speed, and they can be found at any good hardware store or Home Depot/Lowes kind of place.

However, it is possible that one switch supplies the light fixture, and the other controls, say, the upper half of the wall outlets, as is common. you still can wire the fan up just fine, but you'll have to control light level and fan speed using on the pull cords (the black and red wires in the fan would just be twisted together with the black wire from the ceiling) UNLESS your fan comes with a remote. Then it's possible to get separate fan and light control from a unipolar switch, as the remote receiver installed takes one power source in and divides it into two going out. Then you can just leave the switch on the wall on all the time, and turn the light and fan on and off,...

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Light switches control the lighting in many homes.

Safety: Remember to make sure the power is turned off to a light switch before opening it or attempting any repairs. Also, make sure the switch is wired to interrupt the live side, not the neutral side.

Types of SwitchesEdit

There are three basic types of switches, the simplest and most common of which is called the single-pole switch. A single-pole switch has two terminals and is used to control a device, such as a light fixture or receptacle, from one location. It internally connects or disconnects the two terminals to turn the device on or off. A toggle-type switch has on-off markings at the base of its toggle.

A three-way switch is used to control a device from two or more locations. It has three terminals, a specially marked “common” terminal and two “traveller” terminals, and no on-off markings. These switches are always used in pairs, with two live wires, called “traveller” wires connecting the...

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That live wire is the hot feed into the rest of the circuit - if you can picture it, all of the switches from a single circuit breaker are fed in parallel from one incoming hot wire. So nothing to worry about there.

Outside lights are usually on a separate circuit, so it makes sense that that switch has it's own incoming hot line. It sounds like the other incoming hot goes to the foyer switch (switched out to the light) and then to the living room socket switch (switched out to the sockets).

The switched outlets are fed in serial from that living room switch. You can't put Wemo switches in parallel as they need hot on all of the time - turning off the upstream one would deactivate the downstream one. So to avoid complications you should probably stick with just changing out the 3 in that box, but it certainly sounds possible.

To replace the two switches you put white to white to white, green to green to ground (usually the box itself). Put one switch's black to...

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If there are lights in your house that can be controlled from two different light switches (as opposed to just one), then the light is commonly referred to as a three-way light, and the switches are referred to as three-way light switches. Here’s how they work.

RELATED: How to Replace a Light Switch with a Dimmer Switch

If you know anything about circuitry, then you at least probably know that an on/off switch is perhaps the simplest piece of circuitry there is. But once you add in a second switch to control the same object, things can get a bit complicated.

How a Light Switch Works

Before explaining how three-way light switches work, it’s important to know how a regular light switch works. These are called single-pole light switches, and they can turn on or off a light fixture from a single location. These are the most common types of light switches and are mostly found in bedrooms, bathrooms, and other simple room layouts where you would really only...

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A switch-controlled outlet is a great way to control lamps in the den, living room or bedroom. In fact, the National Electrical Code, or NEC, requires a switched outlet in a habitable room without an overhead light. There are several ways to wire a switched-controlled outlet and a new requirement of the 2011 NEC requires a grounded conductor (neutral) in each switch location whether there is a need or not. The examples shown will meet with the new NEC requirement.

Switch-Controlled Outlet Power Leg at Receptacle

Mount a single gang receptacle box and a single gang switch box at the desired locations. Pull 12/2 or 14/2 Romex with ground power leg cable from the breaker box or another receptacle box into the new switch-controlled receptacle box. Route the wire through one of the entry holes. Leave about a 6-inch tail and secure the cable within 8 inches of the box with a cable staple.

Pull 12/3 or 14/3 Romex with ground cable from the switch-controlled...

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Light Switch Wiring and Outlet Wiring

Electrical Question: I have a single pole switch that controls a light.

I opened it up and there is a white and black wire connected to the switch and no ground wire. I need to install a receptacle below it that will always be hot and will be fed through the switch.

Please help.

This electrical wiring question came from: Andrey, a Student from Springfield, Massachusetts.
See more about Home Wiring for Massachusetts

Additional Comments:
So far it really helps! Thanks!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Andrey.

Can Switch Wiring be used for Receptacle Outlets

How Switch Wiring Can Be Used for Receptacle Outlets

Adding an grounded outlet will require a neutral wire, a hot wire, and a ground wire. The switch box wiring that you have described has a hot wire leading to the switch and the switched wire for the power that returns back to the light fixture, so the...
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Adding a Switch + Single Outlet to Existing 3 way + Light.

Hello all,

I am looking to add a single outlet controlled by a switch (this will be controlling rope light along crown molding), to an in place 3 way switch set up that controllers a dining room chandelier.

Taking out the two switches and peaking behind them leads me to believe this is the current set up:

Full Size

Firstly, does this seem correct?

Secondly, I have read many threads on this forum about adding another switch/outlet to the non powered side (the right side in my picture), and for the most part this seems impossible. The new addition would have to be on the left side where the power is coming in, correct?

I mean, of course I could add a switch to the right side, but I would have to run a new wire over there, and in a finished room, im not sure if it's worth the work, so I may deal with being slightly inconvienced to...

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Most of us DIYers have been there. We have a light switch in one location, and an outlet with a lamp or a light fixture attached to a different location not controlled by the switch, but we want that light switch to control the light. What are we to do? For us, we ran into this situation during our kitchen shelf build. But we've been there and done that and we knew what we had to do to make our setup work the way we wanted it to.

For our shelf project we had installed recessed lights under the lower shelf, and we had an outlet available to plug the lights in, but we had a few problems facing us before it operated the way we wanted it to.

Our challenges were:
Placing the whole house audio controller in the present junction box wouldn't work. The audio control is too wide and was forced too far to the right, which meant the outlet cover plate wouldn't fit over both the audio control and the outlet. We wanted the outlet to stay as low profile as possible, so using a...
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Study the diagram below, photos and step by step procedure before attempting. Do not attempt unless you have a complete understanding of the job.


Shut off power to the circuit.


Test the circuit with a tester or lamp prior to working to be sure power has been removed.


Remove the wall plate from the receptacle and save the screws for reuse.


Unscrew the receptacle from the box and save screws for reuse.


Pull the receptacle gently but firmly away from the box.


Identify each terminal screw with a number written on masking tape, affixed close by. A booklet of adhesive numbers (like that in the photo) is great aid for a job like this.


Mark the silver or white terminals with even numbers 2 and 4; the green safety ground terminal (if provided) should be marked 5. The gold terminals on the other side should be marked with odd numbers 1 and 3. Be sure to...

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